Matt Rice 15:39.6 (5K) to finish 5th at the Nike South XC Meet in the Woodlands, TX Click Here to watch the video of Matt's finish
Girls Elite Finish
Photos by Alex Aldaco of https://tx.milesplit.com The Colonial Forge boys finished fifth in the elite division at Nike South Invitational in The Woodlands, Teas but the most important stat was the VA #3 ranked squad finishing under 25 points away from the nation's #9 and #12 ranked teams by the Harrier Magazine in Southlake Carroll (1st, 100 pts) and The Woodlands (2nd, 101 pts). The Forge boys finished with a team score of 124 points and team average of 16:17 with a small top five spread of 33 seconds. Junior Brian O'Loughlin was once again the team's top finisher as the case was last weekend at Great American in 17th place with a time of 16:07. Following O'Loughlin in a short time span were teammates David Klimek (17th, 16:07), David Klimek (19th, 16:10), David Pennesi (20th, 16:12), Donny Lozier (27th, 16:15), and Neil Clark (41st, 16:41). Colonial Forge also finished ahead of last year's Nike Cross Nationals team champions from Boerne Champion (7th, 194 pts). It could be argued that the Colonial Forge boys had a better team showing this Saturday against national caliber competition in an out-of-state travel meet than their Group AAA state title adversary Midlothian, who competed at Manhattan College Invitational this past weekend. Photos by Alex Aldaco of https://tx.milesplit.com The Hidden Valley girls were the defending Nike South champions after winning down in Texas last year en route to a magical season which culminated with a Group AA state team title and Nike Cross Nationals berth. Despite taking several key graduation losses from the 2009 squad, Hidden Valley returned to Nike South with a competitive squad and especially up front with seniors Annie LeHardy and Haley Cutright. LeHardy and Cutright let returning Foot Locker All-American and nationally ranked Rachel Johnson go for a 17:27 win, but the front two for coach Daniel King took care of the rest of the field to finish second and third respectively with personal best times of 17:57 for LeHardy and 18:01 for Cutright. Despite the great front running, Hidden Valley's fourth and fifth runner situation is a still a work in progress with the state meet approaching in five weeks as Hidden Valley finished sixth (148 pts) as a team and 38 points behind the team champions and NXN South #1 ranked Southlake Carroll. The VA #7 ranked Hidden Valley did finally get a win over the VA #6 ranked Colonial Forge girls after finishing behind them at both the Knights Crossing Invitational in September and Great American last weekend. The Colonial Forge girls (9th, 181 pts) were well packed with a 43 second spread for their top five, but lacked the low score cards like Hidden Valley had in top three finishers LeHardy and Cutright as Hannah Dickinson was Colonial Forge's top finisher in 20th place with a time of 18:58. Find more coverage of Nike South at our MileSplit Texas affiliate site
Boys Elite Finish
The Colonial Forge coaches may have picked up on Hidden Valley's idea last year by venturing down to Texas for the Nike South Invitational as the Hidden Valley girls winning last year's Nike South against eventual Nike Cross Nationals team qualifiers from the NXN South Region helped the Roanoke, VA squad qualify for the Nike Cross Nationals as an at-large berth. The NXN South Region is made up of several states, but the state of Texas dominates this region and sends the region's four automatic qualifiers (2 boys teams, 2 girls teams) on almost an annual basis. The Texas boys have proved themselves as worthy of receiving two teams to nationals, but the Texas girls have historically struggled in the mud at Portland Meadows as the 5K distance is not commonly run in girls cross country within the state of Texas as the two mile is the established distance including for the state meet. Read more for Nike South preview on Colonial Forge & Hidden Valley...